Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Outcome of Outcome Feminism – Part 4: Cultural Pressure

Author: Blaise Wilson

The Outcome of Outcome Feminism Series:
Part 1 – Factors to be Controlled: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/outcomeoutcomefem1.html
Part 2- Assumptions: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/outcomeoutcomefem2.html
Part 3 – Freeing Women's Time and Money: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/outcomeoutcomefem3.html
Part 4- Cultural Pressures: This article
Part 5 - Discrimination: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/outcomeoutcomefem5.html
Part 6 - Discussion of Assumption 6: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/outcomeoutcomefem6.html
Part 7 - Discussion of Assumption 1: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/the-outcome-of-outcome-feminism-part-7.html
Part 8 - The Outcome of Outcome Feminism Conclusion:  http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/outcomeoutcomefem8.html
Part 9 - Campaigns and Action: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/outcomeoutcomefem9.html
Abstract/ TLDR

Cultural pressure is known by many names, but changing it provides a variety of challenges. If pushed in the wrong direction, it can allow for great evil.

It can be manipulated through media, laws and individual attitudes.

In order to reduce the Gender Wage Gap, women need to take non-traditional roles. Some suggestions on how to mould society to support women going into these roles includes:
  • Education
  • Incentives and career planning
  • Shaming and praising
  • Improving self-confidence
Education, incentives and career planning are already heavily invested in within the UK. Partially when it comes to women in STEM. Shaming tactics can easily backfire, causing harm to Feminism's reputation.

Women need to maintain their ability to choose their lifestyle and career. But while they can do so, if the key assumption that men and women are biologically identical is flawed then women will continue to choose traditional roles regardless of the intervention.

A rather unsung solution is to improve the self-confidence of women in order to empower them to make their own choices regardless of social norms.

Introduction

In the previous articles it was establish which factors play a role in the Gender Wage Gap. After highlighting a number of required assumptions the factors boiled down to three areas:
  • Freeing up women's time and money
  • Cultural pressure
  • Discrimination
In this part solutions to solving Culture Pressure is investigated. There is an assumption that cultural pressure, rather than personal choice, forces women into traditional roles, while avoiding non-traditional roles. Another key assumption is women and men are identical and that gender is a purely social construct, rather than men and women having biological tenancies to pick certain job roles over others. These assumptions were discussed in part 2.

These articles focus on developed countries, namely the UK and the US.

Cultural Pressure

Cultural pressure has many names, synonyms include conventionality, traditionalism, orthodoxy, fitting in, following the crowd, running with the pack, swimming with the stream, conformity, social pressure and peer pressure. Regardless of the name it is the social norms of society that influence an individuals behaviours, beliefs and attitudes [15]. They come into play through day to day interactions between individuals and the wider environment. They are the accepted conventions and boundaries of a culture that permeate through the media, government (through laws) and inform personal interactions.

Humans are social creatures and have a need to fit into society. Those who do not conform are often ridiculed and expelled, making individuals feel isolated and not valued – or worse, punished or killed. Thus, conforming to society has many benefits. Conformity is very powerful, even going so far as allowing great evils to occur. When no one fights back, no one feel they can [16]. Those who step out of line and don't conform are taking huge personal risks.

This implies the problem of women choosing their lifestyle and career can be influenced in two ways:
  1. changing society's cultural norms to ensure women do not feel pressured into taking traditional roles.
  2. improve self-confidence of women to allow them to place the importance personal choice over fitting into society, and accept the risks as a result.
All the research used for this article concentrated on the former solution, on changing culture rather than encouraging women to take personal responsibility to change themselves and take risks. However the two are not mutually exclusive and during the transition phase between the current culture and the proposed culture some women will have to take risks and lead the way to allow others to follow.

Changing culture takes time, as each generation grows they adopt different social norms to their parents. However these changes can be influenced and changed by the media and government, which will then create a self-correcting system through individual interactions of shaming and praising.

Discussing and raising awareness of the problem, education, and explaining why culture needs to change is a key foundational step to changing personal attitudes. Some outlets have even gone so far as to make a check lists to inform individuals what thoughts are acceptable under the new culture [5].

Naming and shaming those who undermine this new thinking is another tool to help control the change of culture. Individuals are shamed for acting outside of the acceptable parameters of society, and this can be used to improve the Gender Wage Gap. Historically, and to a lesser degree in the present, examples would be the treatment of homosexuals. Society tried to force them to conform to 'normal' sexual preferences, whereas culture is slowly changing to accept such behaviour as acceptable, evening creating laws to protect them.

This pressure could be used to discourage women from traditional roles as much as encourage them into non-traditional roles through shaming, degrading and ridiculing, for example looking down on women who are stay at home mothers.

The opposite to shaming is to praise role model women and encourage other women to emulate there success. These women took the risk of ridicule by making non-traditional choices. Through praising them, and shaming traditional roles it turns 'traditional' society on it's head, treating people the opposite to their expectation.

The Government can control education to support this new culture by encouraging children to pick any career they wish, rather than stick to gender stereotypes [14]. This could include education on the dangerous of harmful social norms to people in key positions of power and the benefits of sharing responsibilities [3].

Helping women to make choices based on potential earnings will help reduce the wage gap, but may not eliminate it completely [10] however, this will reduce the pervasive occupational segregation [3]. This can be achieved through self-confidence programmes and career planning that encourages women into non-traditional roles by developing and distributing information, tools and resources for career exploration [5] with emphasis on providing career advice and encouragement to young women into male-dominated subjects, even going as far as providing personal mentors to help guide them [3, 5]. Women could be offered further incentives by providing scholarships for entering non-traditional training and education [5]. As more women enter non-traditional roles, it helps creates social pressures that conform to the ideals of reducing the Gender Wage Gap.

Discussion

An investigation would be needed establish if these solutions are already in place, and if they are working as intended. However there are some negatives to such changes. As highlighted society can allow great evil, the example provided in [16] “in Nazi Germany, many ordinary people did not dissent to the ongoing atrocities because few other people resisted” which demonstrates that changes to culture must be fully considered and be held within principles such as freedom of speech or morality. Individual must be allowed to think for themselves and have the ability to speak out against conventional norms without fear of punishment.

Choice Feminism, as defined by Anita Sarkeesian [17], believes that women should not choose what they want as an individual, but what is best for women in general. This removes the principle of personal choice. Instead of the traditions of Patriarchy influencing want women choose regardless of their personal preference, Choice Feminism wants women to pick non-traditional roles regardless of their personal preference. This simply swaps one oppression for another without giving women the freedom to pick any career, traditional or not, themselves. This denies women the basic human right to pursue their own happiness.

Using shaming tactics can backfire. It makes Feminism look petty and negative as it tries to childishly shame other women into conforming to their set of goals – one that not all women may share. It has the same problems as Choice Feminism, by removing women's personal freedom to choose for the sake of an agenda. And Anti-Feminists use this as ammunition against Feminism, which in turn reduces the influcence Feminism has. In this way, the shaming tactic has backfired, producing a negative impact on Feminism as a whole.

There are already many campaigns to get women into non-traditional roles, with STEM being a highly targeted one. However they will only help to coax women who want such roles, which makes the key assumption that women wish to be in non-traditional roles vitally important. While women retain choice, if most women do not want non-traditional roles this encouragement will fall on deaf ears.

One area that could be given more attention is to improve the self-esteem of women, and empower them on an individual level. This concept was surprisingly missing from the research on solutions to the Gender Wage Gap, but would allow women to break from indoctrination of social norms and be free to make choices. In the UK and US self-esteem reduces the impact of the risks of being rejected by wider society as the women would no longer seek societal approval and allow the pursuit of personal happiness. However, in countries where nonconformity could mean death such self-confidence could lead to physical harm of the woman. The risks needs to be weighed by the woman on a case by case basis.

Conclusion

The main way to change cultural pressure in order to reduce the Gender Wage Gap is to change the social behaviours and norms, and support and encourage women going into non-traditional roles. This can be done through:
  • Education
  • Incentives and career planning
  • Shaming and praising
  • Improving self-confidence 
References

[1] UK Government request companies publish gendered wage data:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/07/britain-gender-pay-gap-world/398684/ accessed 29/08/2015

[2] Wage Gap in Rwanda, Burundi and Nicaragua is almost non existent:
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/global-gender-gap-equality-is-overrated/16110 accessed 29/08/2015

[3] UN Women Progess Report 2015 – 2016
http://progress.unwomen.org/en/2015/pdf/UNW_progressreport.pdf accessed 29/08/2015

[4] New Republic – How to Equalize the Female Pay Gap
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118653/how-equalize-female-compensation accessed 29/08/2015

[5] New Brunswick: The Wage Gap Action Plan 2005-2010
https://www.gnb.ca/0012/Womens-Issues/wg-es/tools/pdf/5-Action_E.pdf accessed 29/08/2015

[6] Roosevelt Institute: How to Fix the Gender Wage Gap: Going Far Beyond an App
http://rooseveltinstitute.org/new-roosevelt/how-fix-gender-wage-gap-going-far-beyond-app accessed 29/08/2015

[7] American Progress: Seven Actions that could shrink the Gender Wage Gap
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/report/2014/09/18/97421/7-actions-that-could-shrink-the-gender-wage-gap/ accessed 29/08/2015

[8] Policy.Mic: Norway Has Found a Solution to the Gender Wage Gap That America Needs to Try
http://mic.com/articles/87983/norway-has-found-a-solution-to-the-gender-wage-gap-that-america-needs-to-try accessed 29/08/2015

[9] IMF STAFF DISCUSSION NOTE: Women, Work, and the Economy: Macroeconomic Gains from Gender Equity
https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2013/sdn1310.pdf accessed 29/08/2015

[10] Graduating to a Pay Gap The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation:
http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/graduating-to-a-pay-gap-the-earnings-of-women-and-men-one-year-after-college-graduation.pdf accessed 29/08/2015

[11] Quotas in the EU:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/65f494e6-f5e7-11e1-a6c2-00144feabdc0.html accessed 29/08/2015

[12] Pros and Cons of Quotas:
http://www.newstatesman.com/business/2012/09/quotas-women-boards-all-pros-and-cons-one-place accessed 29/08/2015

[13] Gender Wage Gap within the same job:
http://www.payscale.com/gender-lifetime-earnings-gap accessed 29/08/2015

[14] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now
http://www.oecd.org/gender/closingthegap.htm accessed 29/08/2015

[15] Oxford English Dictionary definition of Conformity:
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/conformity accessed 26/09/2015

[16] The power of conformity
http://www.lucifereffect.com/guide_conform.htm accessed 26/09/2015

[17] Anita Sarkeesian, How to be a Feminist Panel, 2015 All About Women conference taking place annually at the Sydney Opera House
https://archive.is/sBqb0 accessed 26/09/2015

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Outcome of Outcome Feminism – Part 3: Woman's Time and Money

Author: Blaise Wilson

The Outcome of Outcome Feminism Series:
Part 1 – Factors to be Controlled: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/outcomeoutcomefem1.html
Part 2- Assumptions: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/outcomeoutcomefem2.html
Part 3 – Freeing Women's Time and Money: This article
Part 4- Cultural Pressures: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/outcomeoutcomefem4.html
Part 5 - Discrimination: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/outcomeoutcomefem5.html
Part 6 - Discussion of Assumption 6: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/outcomeoutcomefem6.html
Part 7 - Discussion of Assumption 1: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/the-outcome-of-outcome-feminism-part-7.html
Part 8 - The Outcome of Outcome Feminism Conclusion:  http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/outcomeoutcomefem8.html
Part 9 - Campaigns and Action: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/outcomeoutcomefem9.html

Abstract/TLDR
This third instalment of the Outcome of Outcome Feminism regarding the Gender Wage Gap looks at how women can be encouraged into the workforce by freeing up their time and money.

Three areas were highlighted and main points are:
  • Provide child-care and redistribute household chores by getting others to provide it. Others included: 
    • men 
    • state (e.g. increased nursery or school hours) 
    • work (e.g. on site crèche)
    • pay someone (subsidised by the state) 
  • Provide family friendly jobs 
    • flexible for the employee, not the employer
    • new parent leave and holiday/sick leave
  • Use taxation and financial incentives for women to be in the workforce 
    • benefits
    • targeted increased tax on men, while reducing it for women
These solutions need further analysis to ensure they have a net benefit and do not impede on other principles, such as the Free Market and personal liberty. However many require increased government control and raises in taxation.

Introduction
In the previous articles it was establish which factors play a role in the Gender Wage Gap. After highlighting a number of required assumptions the factors boiled down to three areas:
  1. Freeing up women's time and money
  2. Cultural pressure
  3. Discrimination 
This article concentrates on solutions to the first issue – freeing up women's time and money. The solutions are generic suggestion, although the UK and US are of particular interest, some of these solutions are already in place in some countries.

Freeing Up Women's Time and Money
“Globally, only half of women are in the labour force, compared to more than three quarters of men“ [p68, 3]. By freeing women from child-care responsibilities and household chores they will be free to chase the careers they have always dreamt of. And this would decrease the Gender Wage Gap by getting more women into full time work.

One solutions is getting others to full-fill the child-care and domestic duties. Examples of these 'others' could be men, through the redistribution of unpaid care and domestic work [3, 9] or public services such as after school programmes, even going so far as “making preschool education compulsory” [p178, 3].

Paying someone could free up women's time while providing paid work, but it would need to be reliable, affordable, accessible, and of high quality [3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 14]. This needs to be offered from birth, and be flexible to allow women to take any job, even those with unsociable hours.

Another solutions is to cut out the 'others' and pay women directly to raise their own children through the state by making “care credits available to all caregivers, regardless of their sex, to compensate for contributions ‘lost’ during periods out of the labour force to look after dependants” [p156, 3].

Once women are free to go into the workforce it is important for jobs to become more 'family friendly.' Family friendly jobs include:
  • paid new parent leave [3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 14], with Norway allotting a minimum of 10 weeks to the fathers in a non transferable 'use it or loss it' system [8].
  • flexi-time [4, 9] and clear advanced scheduled work times [7].
  • “Provide mandatory on-site childcare and other basic services” [p147, 3].
  • support transition from part to full time work [9].
  • Ensure paid leave from work is available, financed through tax if needed [3]
  • Improve networking opportunities for self-employed women [9].
Improved finances will allow women to pay for child-care, which would then free up their time to work. This could be done through government schemes, laws and welfare.

Welfare support could include raising the minimum wage, and increasing or abolishing the 'tipping' minimum wage, as women make up the majority of these workers [7].

Another is to “provide access to benefits as an individual entitlement rather than a household-based one, and use quotas or reserve spots for women to ensure equal participation” [p146, 3]. This individual method could apply to tax too, by scraping higher tax on second family earners (in France, Portugal and the US) [9].

Improved child tax benefits, tax credits and other social benefits but also ensure that any financial gain encouraged women into work, rather than discourage them [9], however access to these benefits should also be improved [5].

It could even be taken as far as taxing women less altogether by designing a “tax systems to redistribute income and to redress socio-economic disadvantage by ensuring that women and marginalized groups are not disproportionately burdened” [p214, 3].

Many of these changes could be funded by increased taxation and borrowing [3]. This may include increasing governmental control on the finances of the country through a central bank and regulations, all while reducing the risk of a fragile, short-term boom by implementing capital controls [3].

Discussion
Full-time working women in the UK earn 90% of their male counterparts [16], whereas US women earn only 77% [15]. Although the difference may not be due to these factors alone, the UK has implemented many of the solutions above, whereas the US has not.

For example, the UK ensures new parents have paid leave, including the men. Whereas the US does not guarantee maternity leave [7]. UK workers get paid holiday and sick leave, with minimal requirements mandated by law. America does not [7]. The UK not only taxes on an individuals system, but also provides child support and tax relief for nurseries. The US taxes the second earner of a household more [9], and is not well known for it's welfare system.

That said, both countries could improve by implementing addition solutions from these suggested, where they don't already. However further solutions need to be thoroughly investigated on a cost benefit and risk analysis to ensure the knock on impacts have short and long term net benefits.

Some of these risks include raising taxes to fund any state supported initiative (or increase borrowing). Increased government laws, regulations and controls may impede the Free Market. Personal liberty could be impacted if the government attempts to force men to do more housework. Using quotas, targeted taxes or tax relief based on gender would fail our #NounSwap test, and would be against Equality of Opportunity.

By removing the responsibility of child-care from women, will this lead to a baby boom? Especially if more children means increased support though child tax benefits and other financial incentives. Families would have less responsibly to raise their own children, the education system may have to fill this gap.

Having reliable, accessible and high quality child-care available 24/7 while being cheap will require generous state subsidies. Increased taxes would have to fund this. Why 24/7? Women may need to work away from home such as long distance drivers or oil rig workers. Without having 24/7 accessible and flexible child-care women will still be limited in the high paid jobs they can take, as not all jobs can be flexible the child-care will need to be.

Increasing the need for child-care will have further impacts. In the UK the government recently increased access to free nursery places from 15 to 30 hours, causing less places to be available without significantly increased funding [17]. Child-care will be required during school holidays.

With fewer connections at home, will this cause the breakdown of the family unit? Will kids get the emotional support they need from their parents? Gifts and money are a poor substitute for time and effort.

Raising minimum wage has negative effects. Increased unemployment and higher prices as employers struggle to pay their staff, paradoxically increasing people below the new, higher, poverty line. It decreases the gap between unskilled and skilled labour. This may disincentivize individuals to gaining skills. It makes it harder to break into the job market. Higher skilled people will get the fewer available jobs, making it difficult for those fresh out of education to get experience [18].

This job scarcity will also result from a sudden increase in women in the workforce. The recession demonstrated job scarcity is not good for the economy. More jobs would have to be created. As more child-care workers would be required many women could take up those roles. Taking care of someone else's kids instead of their own, while being paid for it.

As women take on certain roles another impact is an increase in female deaths in the workplace. Especially if women take up highly paid but dangerous roles.

This is based on the assumption that most women will go out to work if given half a chance, that most women want to work but they are currently tied to the household. If this assumption is false these solutions will not solve the Gender Wage Gap. However women who wish to enter the workforce may have greater opportunity to do so which will help narrow the Gender Wage Gap.

Conclusion
Further short and long term cost and risk benefits analysis should be done before implementing any solution. Some solutions appear to benefit women on the surface but may cause more harm than good.

There were three main areas covered to free up women's time and money.
  • Provide child-care and redistribute household chores
  • Provide family friendly jobs
  • Use taxation and financial incentives for women to be in the workforce 
Many solutions requiring increased taxation and/or government controls.

References
[1] UK Government request companies publish gendered wage data:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/07/britain-gender-pay-gap-world/398684/ accessed 29/08/2015

[2] Wage Gap in Rwanda, Burundi and Nicaragua is almost non existent:
http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/global-gender-gap-equality-is-overrated/16110 accessed 29/08/2015

[3] UN Women Progess Report 2015 – 2016
http://progress.unwomen.org/en/2015/pdf/UNW_progressreport.pdf accessed 29/08/2015

[4] New Republic – How to Equalize the Female Pay Gap
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118653/how-equalize-female-compensation accessed 29/08/2015

[5] New Brunswick: The Wage Gap Action Plan 2005-2010
https://www.gnb.ca/0012/Womens-Issues/wg-es/tools/pdf/5-Action_E.pdf accessed 29/08/2015

[6] Roosevelt Institute: How to Fix the Gender Wage Gap: Going Far Beyond an App
http://rooseveltinstitute.org/new-roosevelt/how-fix-gender-wage-gap-going-far-beyond-app accessed 29/08/2015

[7] American Progress: Seven Actions that could shrink the Gender Wage Gap
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/report/2014/09/18/97421/7-actions-that-could-shrink-the-gender-wage-gap/ accessed 29/08/2015

[8] Policy.Mic: Norway Has Found a Solution to the Gender Wage Gap That America Needs to Try
http://mic.com/articles/87983/norway-has-found-a-solution-to-the-gender-wage-gap-that-america-needs-to-try accessed 29/08/2015

[9] IMF STAFF DISCUSSION NOTE: Women, Work, and the Economy: Macroeconomic Gains from Gender Equity
https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2013/sdn1310.pdf accessed 29/08/2015

[10] Graduating to a Pay Gap The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation:
http://www.aauw.org/files/2013/02/graduating-to-a-pay-gap-the-earnings-of-women-and-men-one-year-after-college-graduation.pdf accessed 29/08/2015

[11] Quotas in the EU:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/65f494e6-f5e7-11e1-a6c2-00144feabdc0.html accessed 29/08/2015

[12] Pros and Cons of Quotas:
http://www.newstatesman.com/business/2012/09/quotas-women-boards-all-pros-and-cons-one-place accessed 29/08/2015

[13] Gender Wage Gap within the same job:
http://www.payscale.com/gender-lifetime-earnings-gap accessed 29/08/2015

[14] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now
http://www.oecd.org/gender/closingthegap.htm accessed 29/08/2015

[15] Full-time US women earn 77% of men:
http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf accessed 07/09/2015

[16] Full time UK women earn 90% of men:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_353368.pdf accessed 07/09/2015

[17] BBC report on increased child subsidy for nurseries:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34155954 accessed 08/09/2015

[18] Pros and Cons of raising minimum wage:
http://wheniwork.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-raising-the-minimum-wage/ accessed 11/09/2015

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Taking an in-depth look into domestic violence research - The Duluth Model

Author: Drew Roan.

Part 1: The Duluth Model - This article
Part 2: The Conflict Tactics Scale - http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/taking-in-depth-look-into-domestic.html
Part 3: UK figure of DV - http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/a-sample-of-domestic-violence-research.html
Summary - Domestic violence is an emotive and often poorly understood topic. Feminist discourse often focuses on issues facing women and girls that result from domestic violence. Unfortunately, research and data can often be biased, being driven by politics rather than strong evidence. This is the first in a series that will analyse different models available. Later we will attempt to analyse the impact on victims and their opportunity to seek help.
 The Duluth model helped to drastically raised awareness and improve responses for victims of domestic violence, including implementing rehabilitation training for abusers. However, there appears to be exceptionally weak evidence that the model works as intended. The model favours an ideological approach rather than an evidence based one.
Using EgaFem's #nownswap test of equality: it fails.
Introduction:

Gloria Steinem once called Domestic Violence (DV) "original violence"(1).

Over the last few decades, interest and studies on DV have increased dramatically, improving our understanding. However, comparable studies are often incredibly contradictory. Before discussing the impacts and supporting data of DV, we should examine the common models of behavioural analysis.

The "Duluth Model" is arguably the world’s most dominant model, used in 50 states in America and 26 countries worldwide (2), including the UK, USA, Canada and more. In 2014 the "Coordinated Community Response to Domestic Violence" based off the Duluth Model was called the best system in the world for reducing violence against women and girls (3).

However, there is significant criticism as it being inefficient, unsupported by psychological or scientific evidence, and may be making things worse (4), in addition to it discriminating against men (5) (6).

A brief history and summary:

The Duluth model was created by a community of feminist activists and battered women advocates in the 1970's. This gave birth to the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, established in 1981. (7) It was a radical program that not only looked at behavioural programs but called for greater co-operation and communication from local law enforcement, courts and domestic violence programs to prevent further acts of abuse. (8)

Treatment programs include mandatory education classes to discuss negative behaviour patterns, diaries to record thoughts and experiences for assessment and discussions about how society conditions men to be violent. Men are then encouraged to respect and understand women's anger within relationships and to observe their own contribution to this behaviour. (9)

You may have seen the following wheel of power and control, which stems from the Duluth model:


As shown in the Wheel of Power and Control, the Duluth Model uses language that places the blame of DV on men and considers the victim to always be women.

For example, taken from the Wheel of Power above, (emphasis mine) “Using Emotional Abuse: Putting her down. Making her feel bad about herself. Calling her names...” rather than than using gender neutral language such as “putting them down. Making them feel bad about themselves.”

The model seeks to put women's voices and safety at the front to reduce male perpetrated violence as much as possible and through its' educational programs. teach men about violent and abusive patterns of behaviour they may exercise.

The evidence that women are always victims and men are always perpetrators which underpins this method will be investigated in a future article.

From the "About" page at TheDuluthModel.org, you can find this helpful breakdown of the model's concepts:


Positives aspects of the Duluth Model

Originally the Duluth Model promoted radical change. The DAIP (Domestic Abuse Intervention Program) was ground-breaking in unifying the criminal justice system and domestic abuse programs in its' attempts to prevent further violence against women.

The Duluth Model continues to be widely praised by feminists such as Karen Ingala Smith of nia (10) for its' insights into structural violence as well as its' focus on address societally conditioned violence, as explained by Edward W. Gondolf. (11)

It has also been claimed that the Duluth model's programs have yielded a success rate as high as 69 percent reducing re-offending within the first three months of entering the program. (12)

Criticism of the Duluth Model:

The National Institute of Justice in America released a report in 2003 which studied batterer intervention programs based on the Duluth Model (13). It concluded there was little to no evidence the programme helped to re-educate or reduce rates of recidivism in general. It highlighted that the few who did find a benefit were married, employed and/or home-owners and were less likely to re-offend as a result.

Another two studies (Shepard, 1987, 1992) on the treatment outcome of the Duluth model found the recidivism rate rose to 40% within 6-12 months of starting the program. Meanwhile a 10 year longitudinal study on rearrests relating to domestic violence found rates of re-offending rose to 50%. (14)

A study by Davis, Taylor, & Maxwell in 1998 (cited by 15) noted there was an extremely high drop out rate (as high as 75% of participants in one case). The researchers concluded this was due to feelings of alienation created by the programme which failed to improve the attitudes of the participants.

One common criticism is the Duluth Model excludes male victims and female batterers. Within it's framework, a man who batters does so due to social expectations. A female batterer defies this social constructs, thus, the model claims, she cannot be labelled a batterer even if they are the sole aggressor. (9)

A study by Dutton and Corvo in 2006 (16) noted the foundation of DAIP was formed on incredibly weak evidence. The original study was tiny, with only four men and five women completing the course. Despite the miniscule sample size and questions over credibility of the results, it was used to push reforms. In addition, this evidence was not gathered by a team of psychologists, but by a pair of radical feminists and a small handful of representatives from EMERGE Boston. This data was not tested by an independent team of experts before it was promoted.

Another concern is how the Duluth model treats mental health issues. The Duluth model claims "to attach a clinical diagnosis to the batterers' use of violence provides a rationalization for behaviour that may not be accurate" (9). This may lead to all DV being treated the same, rather than on a case by case bases, leading to inappropriate treatment i.e. the Duluth model being used when other intervention maybe more suitable. Additionally Feder, Wilson, and Austin (cited by 15) reported in 2005 that the court-mandated treatment of the Duluth Model may not be the most effective option and even discourages research into alternative treatments.

The #nounswap test

Here at Egafeminist, we use the #NounSwap Test as a measure of equality of opportunity.

This simple test exchanges nouns to test if opportunities and cultural response are the same, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation and so forth. Our motto of  'A Victim is a Victim' means if even only one man is a victim, or one woman the perpetrator, this must be dealt with fairness and equality. (17)

When applied to the Duluth Model, this is the result:

"The model seeks to re-educate women about women's roles in violence against men. Women are taught that society conditions them to be violent against men and even encourages them. In this framework, women who batter men are doing so because they are encouraged to be abusive, men who batter women are defying the social order and thus cannot be treated as batterers. It is unreasonable to apply a clinical diagnosis to the use of violence as it provides a rationalization for behavior that may not be accurate.".

We need to further examine the assumptions used to underpin the perspective that only men can be batterers and look at the scale of abuse with regards to gender. However at first glance this statement, when compared to the original, fails the #NounSwap Test due to the different treatment afford each gender, purely on the basis of sex.

In it's original form it deliberately excludes male victims of DV, which may discourage men from seeking help and impact cultural attitudes towards them.

In addition, it is unclear how the Duluth model would consider two women in an abusive relationship, or how/if it takes other factors into account, such as addiction and mental health.

Next time, I will be examining another method of analysing domestic violence called the Conflict Tactics Scale and seeing how this holds up accordingly.

Until then, take care of yourselves.
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1) http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/gloria-steinem-challenges-bbc-presenter-on-violence-against-women

2) http://www.mprnews.org/story/2010/10/21/duluth-treatment-model

3) http://www.theduluthmodel.org/cms/files/Duluth%20Model%20Training%20May%202016.pdf

4) http://ironshrink.com/2006/11/its-time-for-domestic-violence-treatment-to-grow-up/

5) http://www.batteredmen.com/batdulut.htm

6) http://www.naasca.org/2015-Articles/032915-TheDuluthModel-JasonDale.htm

7) http://domestic-violence.martinsewell.com/DuttonCorvo2006.pdf

8) http://www.theduluthmodel.org/about/index.html

9) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Education-Groups-Men-Who-Batter/dp/0826179908

10) http://www.niaendingviolence.org.uk/about_us/board.html

11)  http://www.biscmi.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Gondolf-Reply-to-Dutton-on-Duluth-Model-1.pdf

12) http://www.feministtimes.com/tag/violence/

13) https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/200331.pdf

14) http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/vav/2014/00000029/00000006/art00001

15) http://ocadvsa.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Toward-Evidence-Based-Practice-with-Domestic-Violence-Perpetrators.pdf, (p. 122)

16) http://domestic-violence.martinsewell.com/DuttonCorvo2006.pdf

17) http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-what-is-egalitarian-feminism.html